Barnaby Bright Festival

Various locations in Macclesfield, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK10 1EA

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Credit Simon Brown
  • Credit Simon Brown
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  • Credit: JMA Photography
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About Us

Barnaby Bright is a collection of midsummer events for 2021 running between 17 -27 June, which support the artistic, creative and cultural life of the town. All events will take place in a covid-safe way in line with restrictions.

The programme includes:

a major work commissioned from internationally acclaimed artist Liz West;

a Covid-safe response to the traditional Barnaby parade;

a music industry masterclass programme for Macclesfield musicians produced by Brighter Sound with Mash Guru;

a performance and installation from Simon Buckley (Not Quite Light) that culminates from 18 months work in the Macclesfield Forest,

participatory workshops, cabaret events and markets.

The programme is supported by Arts Council England,  Macclesfield Town Council, and Cheshire East Council. Working together with these and other partners we aim to ensure that arts, culture and heritage can play its important role in supporting the town in recovery.

Events this year include:


Presence is a new large-scale, site-specific artwork by Liz West in grade II* listed Christ Church, an historic building managed by The Roe-naissance Project and maintained by the Churches Conservation Trust. Please note that there are no public conveniences

Visual Arts and Craft Market

Barnaby Bright Visual Arts & Craft Market free entrance to the public in St Michael and All Angels Church courtyard. Barnaby Bright is a collection of Macclesfield midsummer events for 2021  brought to you by the team at Barnaby

Our Future is Ancient Savage Tower

Our Future is Ancient film will be shown in the Tower of the historic Savage Chapel in St Michael’s Church in Macclesfield. The film captures the year of visits to the forest, which are punctuated by the passing of each month with the dawn of the full moon. Savage Tower was once the home of an anchoress and provides a space for solitude and reflection as you watch the film.

Showreel Parade Screenings

We are creating a rolling film moving round the town capturing people’s stories in snapshots. Everyone has 20 seconds to make a scene: show off a talent, an idea or show what matters most to them. Once assembled, the clips will be combined to make a community artwork masterpiece celebrating living in Macclesfield in 2021 and channeling the vibrant spirit of the Barnaby Parade…

The showreel will capture snapshots of the vibrant spirit of the individuals and communities in Macclesfield.  It will be screened in the welcome area  of St Michaels and All Angels on a loop, alongside an exhibition of photographs documenting the making of the showreel.

Our Future is Ancient: The Performance

This one-off performance of spoken word and music takes place in the heart of Macclesfield, in St Michael’s Church, against the backdrop of film and images created in response to monthly visits to Macclesfield Forest over the course of 2020.

For Our Future is Ancient, Simon began visiting Macclesfield Forest in December 2019  on the winter solstice. He documented his visits every month f capturing words and images around the dawn of the full moon, and writing music inspired by his time amongst the trees. 

Our Future is Ancient explores themes of nature, isolation, fear, violence, solace, the passing of time, the seasons, and the winter and summer solstice. The project has taken him on a journey no one expected, at the time of a global pandemic when moonlight visits became more like pilgrimages.

Simon will be accompanied by musicians Rioghnach Connolly, who performs with groups The Breath and Honeyfeet, and cellist Liz Hanks who will be playing original, traditional and incidental music as part of the performance.

Limited edition prints of Our Future is Ancient photographs will be available to buy and order at the event.

Our Future is Ancient: The Forest Comes To Town

This late evening solstice walk led by artist Simon Buckley will take you around the ginnels, twists and turns of Macclesfield town centre as he talks about and shows images from Our Future Is Ancient.  Hear about Simon’s experiences in Macclesfield Forest at first light, the inspirations for the project and his battles with the weather every full moon of 2020, a year like no other.

The walk will take approximately 2 hours in total with time for a break and refreshments.

Dress for the weather and comfortable walking and talking.

Cartoonist Workshop

oin local cartoonist Marc Jackson for two, one-hour cartoon art workshops, designed to ‘draw’ out the Barnaby Bright cartoonists of tomorrow. Prepare for some furiously fun felt pen ACTION in true Barnaby fashion!

Presence Artist Talk by Liz West

Liz talks about the ideas and inspiration behind the creation of her artwork.

A Midsummer Night’s Queen

Drag Queen Cabaret and Catwalk Competition with the lucky winner crowned with a ‘Bespoke Tiara’

Upstairs will be our ‘Locks and Frocks’ peer support parlour where experienced drag queens can share their nuggets of wisdom with individuals new to the scene.
The event is supported by Bespoke by Macc Pride, Lady Sharon Farley Mason and The Zebra Partnership

Book Tickets

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